The traditional London Season Last Night was duly observed at the Saville Theatre on February 24th 1968. The programme, which was as usual kept secret, was in three parts. The first consisted of the second Act of "The Pirates of Penzance", played on orthodox lines apart from the Major-General's entry in dressing-gown and plumed hat, but the "Trial by Jury" which formed the second part of the evening must have been a bewilderment for any in the audience who did not know the work.
The Judge was dressed in a possible costume, but practically no one else was. The jury, so far from being good men and true, were pirates; the Counsel for the Plaintiff had apparently come straight from receiving an Honorary LI.D at Castle Adamant and had not had time to change; the public gallery was presumably full to overflowing that day, as Mad Margaret, plus sundry naval persons, baronets, Kings, and fairies, had somehow been admitted to the body of the Court. No wonder the Judge thought it necessary to restore some dignity to the proceedings and to make his entry on the back of a donkey. The donkey was not a regular member of the Company, but was an understudy in "The Desert Song".
The evening's third Act began with an extract from "Patience", Act 11, done in hippy costume and with appropriate performances from all concerned, especially John Reed and Christene Palmer. After this came a "Smoking Concert". The principals sang popular numbers from the operas, usually in costumes that were wildly inappropriate and the more amusing for that. Mr. Lloyd paid neat and charmingly-phrased tributes to both Isidore Godfrey and Alan Styler, and the Company, with the help of the entire audience, saluted their departing Musical Director by singing "He is an Englishman". The evening ended with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" and 'God Save the Queen".
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